Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Fracking, Food, Freedom, Fairness, and Water

According to the Cape Times today, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa says she "wants what is best for South Africa without damaging water resources" and she has "Gazetted" that Fracking be put on South Africa's political agenda.

I pray that she means this. If I heard the DOE or any other department saying this I wouldn't believe it. I would think that they want what is best for the mining or energy industry. But if Minister Molewa says that she, as the Minister in charge of Protecting the Environment, wants what is best for South Africa, and if she wants to be "objective" then I suppose we should believe her. I'm just a bit shocked that she is the one who has notified the public of what has been Gazetted, although on the other hand, I guess if she tells us, then we should believe we are in good hands!

It is interesting that there is another article in the same newspaper which says that South African legislation is changing to divert water away from agriculture towards mining and to stop people from selling water to each other. Water can only be sold by government! Of-course, I should have thought of that! We can eat gold, platinum and gas. Food? What do we need that for? Especially if we can import it for more than we can buy it here and thus make our balance of payments and employment even worse.

Of-course there is a way that everyone can get what they want. And it starts with government implementing the Energy Policy of 1998 and Renewable Energy Policy of 2003 which calls for 30% of generation to be in private hands by 2010. We are currently past this date, so the liberalisation of the grid is very late, especially given that the ANC government created the policy and had 12 years to implement it. With a level playing field the Renewable Energy group can prove if it can supply the electricity it says it can. If it can't, then lets allow Fracking! In 12 years time!